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Do You Think That Profanities On Covers Sell Books?

by Catherine Van Bergen (follow)
Question (190)      Self Help (6)      Profanities (1)      Swear Words (1)     


Following the popularity of Mark Manson’s motivational book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, there has been an inundation of new releases with titles that feature profanities.

While a majority of these have been motivational and self-help books, there have also been financial, scientific and sociological titles released that also feature swear words (with one or two of the letters ‘strategically’ blocked out to avoid offending anyone).

It’s difficult to say whether this newfound trend actually works, but publishing houses and authors seem to be jumping onto the bandwagon when it comes to placing curse words in their book titles.

Do you think that having a swear word on a book cover makes it more enticing to read? Have you read any? With the amount of these titles now available, do you think the market is becoming oversaturated? Are you offended in any way by the words that can be found on these book covers?

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I think they're appealing to people as 'irreverence' that makes them seem more fun for a self help book. I read The Subtle Art...but thought it was not very good - a lot of contradictions and a little misogynistic in parts. I thought Augusten Burroughs said the same things, more concisely and better in This is How...(and he says a lot more in This is How). However, I read it because people kept telling me to and they love it and I know someone who said 'it changed my life' (& they even got a tattoo from it). So it definitely 'sexy's up the Self help book image....in answer, yes, I'm guessing it does.
Working in a bookshop, I've noticed a lot of these titles cropping up. Besides the popularity of The Subtle Art- which immediately draws your attention because of the title and the bright orange cover- I don't think the others have been nearly as successful. Sure, they do draw your attention, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're enticed to read them. As for offensiveness, I don't think people are as sensitive about language as they once used to be so it's not a problem...
I think they probably still draw a bit of attention, though I know some people find them off putting. I have a copy of Go the F*** to Sleep, which made me giggle. It's not just the swear words, it's the art work, and the way it seems to really capture the experience of being an exhausted parent. I don't find them offensive, though sometimes it does seem a bit unnecessary.
I forgot to add, I also read The Art of Leaving your S*** All Over the Place, a parody of Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I loved it, since Kondo's philosophy annoys me, and despite being a parody it contains some pieces of genuinely good advice.
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